May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
In an effort to raise awareness on a disease that is already affecting many humans and pets, May has been designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Although many are familiar with Lyme disease, not everyone is aware of the connection between Lyme disease and ticks.
Deer ticks are known to transmit the agents that cause Lyme disease through their bites, and unfortunately this type of tick can be active in Maine, New Hampshire and throughout New England any time temperatures are above freezing and especially in the spring through fall. Since less than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall being bit by a tick or noticing a rash, it is important to be aware of the risks when you are hiking, mowing the lawn or just walking on your property, and of course to plan accordingly.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
The threat of Lyme disease is serious and can produce a wide range of symptoms including:
- A rash with a bull’s eye pattern
- Fever, chills, body aches, and headaches as well as other flu like symptoms
- Pain and swelling of the joints
- Paralysis, numbness, and weakness as well as other neurological problems
If you find an engorged tick on yourself, a family member or pet, or if you have noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above, Modern recommends contacting your doctor (or veterinarian) immediately.
Protecting yourself from ticks and their bites
Avoiding ticks or areas where ticks are likely to be found is the ideal way to protect yourself but of course that is nearly impossible unless you intend on staying indoors. The good news is that you don’t have to shut your family up in the house during the warmest part of the year. Instead, with a little forethought, you can reduce your chances for running into these pests.
- wear light colored clothing that covers your body to easily identify the dark color of a tick
- avoid deep wooded areas and tall grassy areas where ticks are commonly found
- walk in the middle of paths as many ticks are waiting at the sides
- inspect clothing, your body, your family, and your pets for any ticks after time spent outside
- wash clothing immediately
- shower right away
- talk your vet to find out how you can protect your pets
Despite the reports that tick populations may be increased this year, due in part to the mild winter, you can still enjoy the outdoors. Remain vigilant in your tick prevention and if you are concerned about ticks on your property in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire or want to learn more about tick control options, contact Modern Pest Services today!